A.J. Green released an apology today over his actions that led to a four-game suspension for selling a jersey. Georgia blog DawgSports isn’t so sure A.J. is the one who owes anyone an apology.
A mistake—-a mistake; one; uno—-was made, the money was paid back, and he sat out for one game. That is a punishment proportional to the affront, particularly if Marcell Dareus got a two-game suspension for twice as many contacts and twice as much profit. Benching A.J. Green for two games would be a stretch, but at least it could be argued with a straight face that it’s reasonable.
A four-game suspension, however, is unfair, disproportionate, and overkill. The NCAA is punishing Green as though he did the things he was accused of doing and that the investigation leaves us to conclude he did not do. As with the unsportsmanlike conduct penalty at the end of last year’s LSU game, Green has been flagged for an offense the replay does not show. This is not justifiable, and this should not stand.
A.J. Green doesn’t owe Bulldog Nation an apology. The NCAA does.